A visitor standing near the Twins’ clubhouse at the dome saw outfielder Michael Cuddyer, wearing tennis shoes, approach Tony Oliva. Cuddyer showed Oliva a long screwdriver and the former Twins batting champ examined it. Then the visitor and Oliva watched Cuddyer, who enjoys entertaining with magic tricks, push the screwdriver through the front of his shoe. This was followed by grins, amazement and no explanations.Comments Welcome
Joe Mauer talking about his hitting success: “Just being patient and waiting for a pitch I can handle instead of trying to hit something the pitcher wants me to hit. Just hit the ball hard somewhere. Just stay balanced.”
Twins outfielder Josh Rabe, 27, called up to the major leagues after a minor league career that began in 2000, said he was earning $3,300.00 a month on a five month basis. He now earns the major league minimum salary of $327,000.00.
Gopher safety Dom Barber stays close to older brother Marion who is entering his second season playing for the Dallas Cowboys. What’s Dom heard about legendary coach Bill Parcells? “He’s a great guy,” Dom said. “He’s a tough guy. Either he likes you or he really doesn’t like you. You just try to stay on his good side. If he wants a cup of water you bring him two.”
Glen Mason’s summer included golfing at Interlachen Country Club where he plays with former Minnesota North Stars president Lou Nanne. The Gopher football coach said he has an 11 handicap.
Former Gopher football great Bob McNamara celebrated his 75th birthday on August 11. McNamara is a fundraising consultant on the new football stadium for the University of Minnesota.
Tom Metzen, born and raised in South St. Paul and now living in Inver Grove Heights, was inducted into the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame last Saturday, just four days after his 68th birthday. A leader in bringing horseracing to Minnesota over 20 years ago, Metzen is a former vice chairman of the Minnesota Racing Commission.
Wally’s Choice suffered a leg injury recently and will not race again until 2007. With over $427,000 in career earnings, he is closing in on Blair’s Cove’s all-time record of $533,528 for Minnesota bred race horses. He is owned by Wally and Joyce McNeil, and Canterbury Park Board Chairman Curtis Sampson. Wally is “Wally the Beerman.”Comments Welcome
The “welcoming committee” will likely be friendly and probably forgiving when bad boy Randy Moss returns to the Metrodome on Monday night August 14.
At least that’s the opinion of WCCO Radio’s Dark Star who scooped his media brethren forecasting the Moss trade to the Oakland Raiders weeks before it happened in 2005.
Star predicts applause for Moss, adding that fans loved the Viking wide receiver and don’t hold a grudge against him. “He was the most exciting Viking ever to watch,” Star explained.
Moss, 29, was a super star receiver with the Vikings but injuries and ineffective quarterback play produced a mediocre season in Oakland in 2005. He holds the NFL record for most 1,000 yard seasons by a receiver in his first seasons, topping that mark in each of his first six years with the Vikings, according to statistics from Wikipedia encyclopedia. Three times in his seven year career with the Vikings he caught 15 touchdown passes or more and entering this season his career average of 12 + touchdown passes per year is the best in NFL history.
He and Daunte Culpepper were going to become the two-some leading the Purple to the Super Bowl, or was it supposed to be Super Bowls? Star was among their admirers. “They were as good as I ever saw in my lifetime. Nobody threw it up in the air better than he (Culpepper) did and nobody could get to it faster than Randy Moss could. With Culpepper’s arm and Randy Moss’s speed and hands it was the best combination I ever saw.”
Star had a solid source with the NFL who assured him there was interest in sending Moss to Oakland. “We had this about a month before it happened and anytime you get the drop on Sid Hartman it’s a lot of fun,” he said.
Why did the Vikings part with Moss? Legions of fans can recite his troubles including exiting the field in 2004 before the game against the Washington Redskins ended.
“I think he was traded because it was time for him to go somewhere else and earn his living,” Star said. “I think you get to a point where you wear out your welcome. He’s a gifted kid, a tough kid, a street kid. He never got in a position where he was coachable to the point where they could handle him being around. And when they got to the end of it, I think they said I don’t care how much talent he’s got, he’s got to go.”
The Raiders won four games last season and prospects for better results in 2006 may not be much better. With all those seasons of NFL pounding, and maybe not as much desire, perhaps prospects for Moss are not so bright either.
Star said he feels sorry for Moss. “Randy is probably cooked. He might be at the end of it. Sometimes the real good ones like Randy Moss they play for five-six years and all of a sudden they are not that interested in playing. I don’t think this kid wants it as bad as he used to. And he’s in a bad situation in Oakland and I just expect him to go dog city.”